Prince Avenue Christian School and the Wesleyan School’s football teams have gotten to know each other pretty well over the last 13 months.
When the two teams meet at Brad Atkins Field on Friday night it will be their third meeting in the last two seasons.
The first matchup was a bit of a coming-out party for PACS’ quarterback Brock Vandagriff who put up 469 yards of total offense to help the Wolverines to a week three win last year.
The Wolverines hosted the Wolves in the Class A Private quarterfinals last November.
PACS sent the Wolves home in the state quarterfinals a tightly contested 42-27 contest. The Wolves have had all offseason to think about the Wolverines and how they were bounced from the postseason.
It’s been one the Wolverines have been looking forward to as well.
“When everyone gets hyped up for a game like this it feels good,” Brock said. “There’s always this game and the Athens Academy game that everyone is kind of highlighting. When you’re talking to people on the outside they’re like ‘hey I’m coming to the Wesleyan game and hey I’m coming to the Athens Academy game’ because those are two of the bigger games on our schedule.”
The Wolverines will expect the Wolves’ best shot. Much of the Wolves’ roster returns and remembers what transpired between the two programs last season.
The Wolverines will be fairly new to the Wolves despite having plenty of film of themselves facing the Wesleyan schemes and personnel.
The 2019 Wolverines have very different personnel from the one that beat the Wolves in 2018.
PACS head coach Greg Vandagriff estimates half of the Wolverines’ starters are new and has never played a snap against Wesleyan.
The newness in light of the familiarity between the two teams will bring a unique challenge for the Wolverines. The Wolverines of 2019 will be trying to stave off a revenge game for a victory that much of them didn’t win.
Throughout the week leading into the game, Greg has tried to make his team aware of how long of a game they are in for on Friday. The Wolverines have outscored their first two opponents a combined 97-49.
Things are going to go the way Wolves at some point. For the first time this season the Wolverines could be asked to deal with the game being on the line late.
“I know they probably circled this one early on because we sent then home and we beat them in the regular season,” Greg said. “You’ve got to make them understand it’s a four-quarter game...We understand the game is going to be close and you’ve got to play four quarters. We have to play fast and hard, which is the way we like to play.”
There are more impactful games left on the Wolverines’ schedule in 2019, but Friday could do some clarifying for the Wolverines. With the match up with Athens Academy less than a month away the Wolverines feel they are a team that contends, but winning a game against another top-five ranked team could put an exclamation point on the Wolverines’ status in Class A Private.
“I believe it would probably affirm some thoughts that are going on in the Prince Avenue locker room,” Brock said. “We think that we’re a top-caliber team in the state and we’re trying to win a state championship. This could just back up some of the things that we’ve been thinking.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Brad Atkins Field.